This Spring, I decided I'm going to hit the lucid dreaming hard. Every lucid dreaming experience I've had has been absolutely mind-blowing, and that's something my dusty mind could certainly use right about now.
Lucid dreaming does not come natural for me, so I have to do a lot of prep work, work on my technique, as per the work of lucid dreaming pioneer Stephen LaBerge, if I want to trigger lucidity.
Here's a few techniques that have worked for me in the past:
Get plenty of sleep. Adjust your lifestyle. No television or Internet one hour before bed. Meditate beforehand. Also, if you want to encourage the occurrence of lucid dreams, extend your sleep. If you are serious about lucid dreaming, and can find the extra time, you should arrange at least one morning a week in which you can stay in bed for several hours longer than usual. (Roger that!)
Motivation and Prospective Memory
Another important prerequisite to recalling dreams is motivation. Intend to remember your dreams and remind yourself of this intention all throughout the day and just before bed. Additionally, it may help to tell yourself to have interesting and meaningful dreams.
You should get into the habit of asking yourself this question the moment you awaken: “What was I dreaming?” Do this first or you’ll forget some or all of your dream, due to interference from other thoughts, what you need to do that day, etc. Don’t move from the position in which you awaken, as any body movement may make your dream harder to remember.
Keep a dream journal or recorder by your bed and record your dreams as soon as you awaken. As you record more dreams, you will remember more. Start to pay attention to strange things in your dream, your dreamsigns. When people realize they are dreaming, it is often because they reflect on unusual or bizarre occurrences in their dreams. Interestingly, we also talk away their unusualness. (Oh yes, it makes perfect sense that Scarlett Johansson should be in my bathtub, playing with a blue giraffe. She looks like she could use a foot massage.)
Engage With Reality
Become thoroughly familiar with the way things usually are in waking life. Engage your sense of touch with everything. Stop during the day and take a moment to listen to the sounds happening around you. This will prepare you to notice when something unusual happens in a dream.
Am I dreaming or am I awake right now? Do reality testing, every hour on the hour. You can also test your state with some kind of trigger. Whenever you get up to get some tea. Look at a picture of your children. See a bird fly by. I had a rock with the word “Dream” on it that I placed in the middle of my room and I either saw it or accidentally kicked it whenever I crossed the room. That was my state check reminder.
See you inside!